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UN Security Council Demands Ceasefire In Gaza

U.S. abstains from vote, allowing first-ever ceasefire resolution for Israel to pass

UN Security Council Demands Ceasefire In Gaza

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, specifically timed to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan.

This landmark decision also includes a demand for the prompt and unconditional release of all hostages taken during the October 7 attack against Israel.

The resolution advocates for a ceasefire throughout Ramadan, with all parties continuing a “lasting ceasefire” afterward. This nuanced language emerged from U.S. officials’ insistence on avoiding the phrase “permanent ceasefire.”

Representative of Yemen Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi, on behalf of the Arab delegation, said the resolution must be considered as a first step leading to a binding resolution on a permanent ceasefire. He added that the group seeks "immediate compliance with the resolution and categorically rejects the double standard that is prolonging this conflict, as Israeli occupation forces continue with their genocidal war, targeting women and children and even adopting a policy of starvation," according to a UN statement.

Furthermore, the resolution seeks to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, calling for an expansion of aid to Palestinians currently facing severe hunger, and advocating for enhanced protections for civilians throughout the conflict-torn region. This move comes amid escalating global concern over the significant civilian casualties and the stifling of humanitarian assistance by the Israeli government.

Israel continues to maintain it is not using hunger as a weapon. However, multiple Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Yoav GallantNational Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, and Energy Minister Israel Katz, have all made public statements expressing their aim to deny civilians in Gaza food, water, and electricity.

In a departure from its traditional stance, the U.S. abstained from voting, a move that allowed the resolution to pass — a first in the context of Security Council deliberations on Gaza, where the U.S. has typically used its veto power to protect Israeli interests.

The abstention signals a pivotal moment, reflecting the growing divide between Washington and its longstanding ally, Israel, over the unfolding tragedy in Gaza.

After the resolution passed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly cancelled a diplomatic delegation’s visit to Washington, D.C. to protest the vote.

White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby said the abstention did not signal a change in policy.

“The reason we abstained is because this resolution text did not condemn Hamas. and we really believe that Hamas should be condemned for what they did on the seventh of October,” he said.

International pressure continues to mount to end Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which, since the military campaign began last October, has resulted in the deaths of more than 32,000 Palestinians, 70 percent of whom are women and children noncombatants. More than 74,000 Palestinians have been injured in the conflict.

Despite skepticism regarding the casualty figures, as the most-cited numbers come from the Palestinian Health Ministry, Israeli military officials acknowledge they consider the numbers accurate, referring to them as “totally reliable.”

Israeli officials claim they have killed around 10,000 Hamas fighters. However, following multiple investigations, experts believe that figure to be overstated, claiming that Israeli officials are counting civilians as Hamas fighters. An expert cited in the investigations says there is “a much higher civilian death rate” than Israeli forces admit, as well as a pattern of “indiscriminate killing,” rather than targeted attacks against Hamas fighters.

Experts also said following the investigations that the civilian death toll is likely significantly higher, given that many hospitals, where deaths are usually recorded, are no longer in operation.

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